Indo Pacific strategy

Ananda

The Bunker Group
Is it China really only put 2% of it's GDP in defence ? I mean officially it is..but is the budget also include all the research for dual purpose tech that being used later on developing their new weapons ?
Is the budget for developing the infrastructure on the SCE artificial islands also from defense budget ?

What I'm getting at, China budget is not as transparent as Western standard. For that I do have a doubt on how much really China spend on defence related development. Read somewhere on one Investment Bank assessment (forgot if it's Merrill or Citi)..that speculate that China defense related spend (based on Western standard) actually close to 7-8,% of their GDP. This includes all defense research, infrastructure support that many considered as part of 'civilian' useage under Chinese budget standard.

However it's off course related to their Economy development..
 

seaspear

Active Member
Other figures can be also sourced from the World bank and Rand place it close to the two percent mark , but to also give an idea of China's rise in defence spending in 2003 its defence budget was comparable to the U.K,s and Japan at 38 billion dollars and it justified this for increased spending those comparisons ,it has stopped using those comparisons now in 2015 it reached 146 billion dollars the Uk was on 56.2 billion dollars
On the flip side so to speak the budget for the U.S nuclear weapons comes out of the department of energy
What is also hard to calculate is the value of information acquired through theft or hacking through universities or major defense companies that has enabled reverse engineering .
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Is it China really only put 2% of it's GDP in defence ? I mean officially it is..but is the budget also include all the research for dual purpose tech that being used later on developing their new weapons ?
Is the budget for developing the infrastructure on the SCE artificial islands also from defense budget ?

What I'm getting at, China budget is not as transparent as Western standard. For that I do have a doubt on how much really China spend on defence related development. Read somewhere on one Investment Bank assessment (forgot if it's Merrill or Citi)..that speculate that China defense related spend (based on Western standard) actually close to 7-8,% of their GDP. This includes all defense research, infrastructure support that many considered as part of 'civilian' useage under Chinese budget standard.

However it's off course related to their Economy development..

Regardless of how much China's budget for defence is, the reality is they are building a lot of stuff.
I know the maths is important, but the true reality is their rapid growth in modern military hardware and the political attitude that has foster this development.
Their defence budget may not be transparent but their resolve to be a bigger player in the world is unambiguous.
A country on the march.

One to watch.


Regards S
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
Yes they are on the March..my comment related more on the presumption that they only spend 2% of their GDP on defense related development.
What I'm getting at..all those development doubtful come from only 2% of their GDP. In sense if their defense related development actually 3-4 times of officiall figures..as some suspected..then they are actually close to limit on one nation can comfortably spend on defence related spending (during non War condition)..unless you want to begin sacrifice other economic sectors..which China has to maintain on their current path..

Off course it's still big..still second only on defense spending after US..but again does not mean unlimited growth..
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Another consideration is what counts as an actual defence expenditure towards the 2% of GDP. Canada recently added in veterans pension costs and other government expenses that are used by DND, e.g. IT, Health Care. etc. Supposedly other EU members so this and this is why our spending looks better. I assume salaries count so this makes comparisons more problematic as does actual costs to develop sophisticated weapons. Given the US and China have some comparable missiles, how much did each country pay to produce 500? Do published GDP percentages normalalize these differences? Of course the biggest unknown is the data certain countries offer out as defence expenditures. China might deflate their numbers, others inflate them ( think junior).
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Yes they are on the March..my comment related more on the presumption that they only spend 2% of their GDP on defense related development.
What I'm getting at..all those development doubtful come from only 2% of their GDP. In sense if their defense related development actually 3-4 times of officiall figures..as some suspected..then they are actually close to limit on one nation can comfortably spend on defence related spending (during non War condition)..unless you want to begin sacrifice other economic sectors..which China has to maintain on their current path..

Off course it's still big..still second only on defense spending after US..but again does not mean unlimited growth..

Interesting observation and if true, suggests they are not with out their own domestic challenges versus their international aspirations.
Hopefully the benefits of international trade and mutual cooperation will lead to a peaceful future and the region can step back a bit from an arms build up; but at this stage mutual suspicions are fostering an increase in this military momentum.

Challenges all round.

Regards S
 

foxdemon

Member
A recent development is the reengagement of the RN in the Far East.

US and British conduct training in South China Sea

The British, having centuries of experience with facing down hegemonic powers, are able to recognise an existential challenge when they see it. But the RN is a shadow of it’s former self. Setting an example of courage and principle might be all they are capable of in this day and age.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Will China let Belt and Road die quietly?

Perhaps times are changing ,the article suggests that China has its own economic difficulties and funding its expansionism may be slowed
It's difficult to say and really depends upon who's tea leaves you read to a certain degree. The real problem is we don't know how tight the grip Xi has on the CMC, Politburo, the PLA and the security organs within the PRC. So far he has managed to have General Secretary of the Party term limits abolished, has developed a cult of personality around himself, has created Central Leading Groups, with himself at the head, in order to bypass the Party and govt bureaucracy. So that speaks to his grip on power so far and if he has been, and is, doing an Uncle Joe (Stalin) in removing any and all opposition, then he will be there until he falls off his perch (dies). He is, I believe, a Maoist, so we could be looking at a return to the days of Mao with an almost rabid anti western ideological and hostile swing alongside a return to active proselytising of the Maoist religion within the SEA region and beyond. Whilst Mao was somewhat touched in the head during the latter part of his life, Xi appears to be the exact opposite and that IMHO, makes him a far more dangerous man.

I came across this the other day: A Great Shift Unseen Over the Last Forty Years It is an unauthorised English translation of a recent speech by respected Chinese economist Professor Xiang Songzuo. It was quickly taken down by the Chinese censors. So some questions have to be asked. Is the report reliable? I do not know and I don't have access to the original, so this is definitely secondary source material that has to be treated with caution. Secondly, is the data that the Professor citing valid, accurate and reliable? Again we don't know his sources of data. Thirdly, given the political situation within China, what would be the Professors reasoning for presenting such a paper, considering that the party would take a very dim view of it and he could be in personal danger? Again we don't know, hence whilst very intriguing, I would have to treat its reliability with some caution.

Having said that, if we take the paper and translation at face value, then the PRC is in deep economic trouble, which will create problems on the domestic front. With the economic problems worsening at home, Xi will most likely adopt the time honoured tactic of distracting the population by fomenting more trouble and creating enemies abroad; foreign barbarians who want to sack and desecrate the Middle Kingdom. He will most likely do an Uncle Joe and crack down at home as well, tightening the screws. Money will be diverted from social budgets to military and security budgets. One important thing to remember as well; the PLA - all of it (army, navy, air force, rocket forces, everything) belong to the Party not the State and swears allegiance to the Party, not the State. I think that the security forces are the same too.
 

SolarWind

Active Member
Another consideration is what counts as an actual defence expenditure towards the 2% of GDP. Canada recently added in veterans pension costs and other government expenses that are used by DND, e.g. IT, Health Care. etc. Supposedly other EU members so this and this is why our spending looks better. I assume salaries count so this makes comparisons more problematic as does actual costs to develop sophisticated weapons. Given the US and China have some comparable missiles, how much did each country pay to produce 500? Do published GDP percentages normalalize these differences? Of course the biggest unknown is the data certain countries offer out as defence expenditures. China might deflate their numbers, others inflate them ( think junior).
How much is China getting out of its military investments is a very interesting question. According to the World Economic Forum, China is already the largest world economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity:
The world’s top economy: the US vs China in five charts
From the article, Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is a measure that adjusts countries’ GDPs for differences in prices.

According to the World Bank,
GDP, PPP (current international $) | Data
China's GDP in terms of PPP in 2017 was 23.3 trillion international USD, whereas US GDP in terms of PPP in 2017 was 19.4 trillion international USD. The latter number is of course equal to US GDP in 2017 in USD, because PPP is normalized in terms of USD.

From this, it can be taken that China's 2% of GDP, or its military spending according to this forum, works out to be equivalent to about 466 billion USD if it had been spent in the US. Even though Chinese military technology is inferior to that of US, the punch of Chinese military budget is much greater than many might suspect.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
When we look at HARD data from the Indo-Pacific, the rise of local players is the story and not just of China. The rise of the Indians, the South Koreans and ASEAN is the story. The South Korean Navy, for example will be a growing naval power to watch. There are many more that I am too lazy to list, including the Japanese who have an existing naval capability that UK cannot hope to match.

I am grateful to UK for all they have done in the past but hard power and demographics matter to Asians.

A recent development is the reengagement of the RN in the Far East.

US and British conduct training in South China Sea

The British, having centuries of experience with facing down hegemonic powers, are able to recognise an existential challenge when they see it. But the RN is a shadow of it’s former self. Setting an example of courage and principle might be all they are capable of in this day and age.
I am unimpressed - UK’s commitment to FPDA is so limited, compared to Australia’s commitment - over the last 20 to 30 years, after UK’s pull back from the East of Suez. In January 1968, UK Prime Minister announced that British troops would be withdrawn in 1971 from major military bases in South East Asia, "east of Aden", which is when the phrase "East of Suez" entered the vernacular.

Today, Asia has radically decoupled from UK. Hong Kong was returned to China by the UK. In geo-strategic terms, UK has nothing to lose any more. Until the 1980s, UK was invested in Brunei’s success (but not any more). More importantly, tiny Brunei does not look towards UK any more.

After Brexit, UK will be a shadow of itself - not just in money terms. The stupidity of their current generation of political leaders is stunning - stupidity is incurable. The UK’s navy is a shadow of its former self, and never will it regain their 1980s capability. If shooting occurs, the loss of 1 UK ship may result in an incredible lack of political spine. I am happy that the US encourages UK participation but would not take it at more than face value.

Deserves a pat on the head but UK leadership is not welcome in the corridors of power in Asia. If there is a natural disaster, Asians will be happy to take money and charity but they are not looking at really including UK in their forums as a trusted partner.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
When we look at HARD data from the Indo-Pacific, the rise of local players is the story and not just of China. The rise of the Indians, the South Koreans and ASEAN is the story. The South Korean Navy, for example will be a growing naval power to watch. There are many more that I am too lazy to list, including the Japanese who have an existing naval capability that UK cannot hope to match.

I am grateful to UK for all they have done in the past but hard power and demographics matter to Asians.
yes your correct, but from my view point the Sth Koreans, Japan are very much allied with the US. As for the Indians not so much they like playing on both sides of the fence so to speak.


I am unimpressed - UK’s commitment to FPDA is so limited, compared to Australia’s commitment - over the last 20 to 30 years, after UK’s pull back from the East of Suez. In January 1968, UK Prime Minister announced that British troops would be withdrawn in 1971 from major military bases in South East Asia, "east of Aden", which is when the phrase "East of Suez" entered the vernacular.

Today, Asia has radically decoupled from UK. Hong Kong was returned to China by the UK. In geo-strategic terms, UK has nothing to lose any more. Until the 1980s, UK was invested in Brunei’s success (but not any more). More importantly, tiny Brunei does not look towards UK any more.

After Brexit, UK will be a shadow of itself - not just in money terms. The stupidity of their current generation of political leaders is stunning - stupidity is incurable. The UK’s navy is a shadow of its former self, and never will it regain their 1980s capability. If shooting occurs, the loss of 1 UK ship may result in an incredible lack of political spine. I am happy that the US encourages UK participation but would not take it at more than face value.
Agree, the UK will have burnt a lot of bridges once the fall out of Brexit happens irrespective if the remain in the EU or not




Deserves a pat on the head but UK leadership is not welcome in the corridors of power in Asia. If there is a natural disaster, Asians will be happy to take money and charity but they are not looking at really including UK in their forums as a trusted partner.
That's an interesting view, I'm interested in a greater insight in this, but most in Australia do not view us as part of Asia either but realise Asia is part and parcel of our domestic security
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
That's an interesting view, I'm interested in a greater insight in this, but most in Australia do not view us as part of Asia either but realise Asia is part and parcel of our domestic security
I would challenge that view. Most of those who matter, strategists, politicians, ADF and economists all regard Australia as part of Asia with our future economic and cultural development firmly tied to her.

I’m sure that there are many citizens who might see it differently but they are balanced by those with a different view and both are of small consequence to international relationships where economic and socicial pragmatists prevail.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I would challenge that view. Most of those who matter, strategists, politicians, ADF and economists all regard Australia as part of Asia with our future economic and cultural development firmly tied to her.

I’m sure that there are many citizens who might see it differently but they are balanced by those with a different view and both are of small consequence to international relationships where economic and socicial pragmatists prevail.
Hi Assail

I'm mindful this can be an awkward conversation
A Google search of Asia or South East Asia will bring up either maps or listings of counties within these two regions.
I have found none with Australia represented.
This is neither a good or bad thing, but simply highlights from a geographic point of view, we are a separate identity.
Are we part of something called Oceania or just that big bit of land south of Indonesia I cannot say. As someone of European back ground living in this part of the world I don't consider myself either Asian or apart of Asia.. Again I say this is not in some sense of self righteousness or perception of superiority but just purely to suggest, I am what I am nothing more or less. Living in this wonderful multicultural country it must be remembered that the greater majority of the population have a European connection. This I suggest is important as it gives both a sense of identity of uniqueness within the broader geographic region not only of our sense of self, but also equally importantly how others in the greater region perceive us. We are a nation of immigrants predominantly not of this region.
As an outsider nation we still importantly have a reciprocal relationship with our neighbours both near and far.
This encompasses the all important areas of trade, commerce, defence and geopolitics. This is our future and must be planned for.
I'm very mindful the days of Pax Britannia are long gone. Equally while the USA's a powerful figure today, its importance in the world both economically and military will decline in relation to Asia and in particularly China.
So were does this leave Australia.
Well we embrace the region as best as possible, as it's crucial to our future prosperity and security, but we do it as an outsider not as someone within the club.
After all that's a perception of the region as to where we belong both culturally and geographically in the greater scheme of things.


Regards S
 

t68

Well-Known Member
I would challenge that view. Most of those who matter, strategists, politicians, ADF and economists all regard Australia as part of Asia with our future economic and cultural development firmly tied to her.

I’m sure that there are many citizens who might see it differently but they are balanced by those with a different view and both are of small consequence to international relationships where economic and socicial pragmatists prevail.
Apart of the geographical make up of Asia, Asia dosent see Australia as part of Asia

Most of those who matter, is due to government policy in the post Menzies era in the last 40 odd years,and the UK abandonment east of Suez it all started with the Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (Council)between Fraser government and Japan. Predominantly with Australia looking for other markets, the current thinking that Australia is dependent on the Asian region for our economic and security reasons not because we identify as Asia.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I would have to agree with @OPSSG that the UK have long ago shot their bolt in the Indo Pacific and because of the lack of moral fibre of their political elite and civil service since the early 1960s, they are now no longer a first rate power. The current BREXIT fiasco, which is self inflicted, is symptomatic of the demise of the quality of the political elite and civil service. After BREXIT the UK will become less relevant upon the world stage.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
I would have to agree with @OPSSG that the UK have long ago shot their bolt in the Indo Pacific and because of the lack of moral fibre of their political elite and civil service since the early 1960s, they are now no longer a first rate power. The current BREXIT fiasco, which is self inflicted, is symptomatic of the demise of the quality of the political elite and civil service. After BREXIT the UK will become less relevant upon the world stage.

I don't think anyone would disagree with that, but don't agree that the UK is a spent force either, unless they increase twofold re-engaging in the greater Asia-Pacific region is just a non-starter hard power wise in a full time basis, soft power is another story
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Feel free to disagree but I am of the view that the future of Australia is Asian (part of the Indo-Pacific if you like) and is seen as a trusted partner in not only at ADMM plus but also the Quad: The Quad and the Free and Open Indo-Pacific
Australian diplomatic presence/influence in Asia has been constant and growing since we decided to shed the Empire inferiority complex and strengthened when the UK abandoned Aus and NZ and joined the Common Market.
It grew with our increasing importance as a supplier of resources firstly to Japan and expanding to al of NE Asia and China.
Our defence relationships are enduring, again as a SEATO partner and including the FPDA of which we have filled the gap left by the British withdrawal.
Our social engagement has been longstanding by pioneering people to people relationships with the highly regarded Colombo Plan and the myriad of University places filled by students from all over the region.

All these engagements came about because forward thing political leaders over a generation understood our place in this world was determined by our geography and not by our mainly European ancestry, it was no accident and although some leaders from time to time have tried to drag us backwards to the old world most have the vision to understand our future.
In the modern Australia you can walk every street in every city and see many ethnic Asian Australians speaking with broad Australian accents and that trend is continuing.
Like it or not we are part of this dynamic and growing part of the world.
 
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